On the morning of March 26th 1977, following the kidnapping of Rodolfo Walsh, the ESMA Task Force raided the house in the Buenos Aires town of San Vicente and stole the writer’s belongings.
ESMA TRIAL SENTENCE – YEAR 2011
“It was established that a group of approximately fifty people showed up at the home of Victoriano Matute, to make him lead them to Walsh’s home, where they arrived between 3:30 and 4:00 pm and, after firing continuously on the state, they went in and subtracted a considerable amount of personal objects that belong to the people who lived there. This included several short stories, letters, and other valuable literary pieces, such as: “Juan Went through the River”, “The 27”, “Ñancahuanzú”, “The Aviator and the Bomb”, “Letter to Vicky”, “Letter to Colonel Roualdes”, a folder labeled “Memories” and another one labeled “The Horses”, texts from Rodolfo Walsh’s journal with news clippings, a phone book, his draft card, family photos and the letter he wrote to his friends after his daughter María Victoria was killed. These items were taken to ESMA and seen by several people who were held kidnapped there.”
In 2011, the Federal Criminal Court #5 of the City of Buenos Aires sentenced eight people for the theft of Rodolfo Walsh’s property for the first time.
A WRITER’S LETTER TO THE MILITARY JUNTA (1977)
In January 1977, Rodolfo Walsh lived in the town of San Vicente, in the Buenos Aires province, with his partner Lilia Ferreyra. This is where he wrote A Writer’s Open Letter to the Military Junta.
(…) “These facts, which stir up the conscience of the civilized world, however are neither what brought the hardest suffering to the Argentine people nor the worse human rights violations you have committed. In the economic policies of this government we will find not only an explanation for your crimes but also a bigger atrocity that punishes millions of human beings with planned poverty”.
On March 25th, 1977, Walsh mailed the first copies. The Letter is regarded as a revealing testimony about the dictatorship and a masterpiece of universal journalism.
LETTER TO VICKY (1976)
Rodolfo Walsh had two daughters, María Victoria and Patricia. María Victoria was an activist in the Montoneros organization. On September 29th, 1976, a day after her 26th birthday, she died during a clash with the Army. On the day he learned of her death, Walsh wrote a letter.
“We die persecuted, in the darkness. The true cemetery is memory. That is where I keep you, I cradle you, and maybe I envy you, my dear (…). Today, on the train a man said ‘ I suffer a lot, I wish I could go to bed and sleep for a year’. He was speaking for himself, but also for me”.
The original manuscript disappeared on March 26th, 1977, when the writer’s home was raided. Former ESMA detained-disappeared testified at the trial that they saw it in this clandestine center.